Kevin de Bruyne impressed Belgium to a brutal defeat of hapless Scotland to all however finish hopes of reaching Euro 2020 by way of their qualification group.
The Manchester Metropolis man arrange Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld and netted the fourth.
Steve Clarke’s facet should now look to subsequent 12 months’s play-offs as their greatest hope of ending a 22-year watch for an look at a significant finals.
Victory made it six wins from six for Roberto Martinez’s Group I leaders.
In fact, it might have been far worse for Scotland towards the world’s primary ranked facet at Hampden, who performed properly inside themselves.
Scotland, in fifth, now path Russia by 9 factors and Belgium by 12 with 4 video games to go.
Supernatural De Bruyne brilliance & determined weak spot
After the chastening 2-1 loss at dwelling to Russia on Friday got here this evisceration by Belgium – an Eden Hazard-less Belgium at that. Who wants the Actual Madrid man when you have already got the supernatural brilliance of De Bruyne on prime of determined weak spot from the house crew, whose defence was paper-bag skinny, with all due apologies to paper luggage?
Scotland, with Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie, Robert Snodgrass and Matt Phillips coming in for John McGinn, Ryan Fraser, James Forrest and Oli McBurnie, had a number of early minutes of optimism after which a harrowing night time thereafter, the horror present starting once they conceded the primary aim after simply 9 minutes. The Scots acquired achieved on the counter assault. In leaving themselves so open they had been had been unbelievably naive and totally reckless. Incompetence on a world scale.
From the sting of their very own field, Belgium went just like the clappers after regaining possession from a Snodgrass free-kick, Dries Mertens peeling away and discovering De Bruyne who was operating release the left. He had time and house and much, far an excessive amount of excellence for the scrambling Scottish defence. He merely regarded up, picked out Lukaku who had strolled in on aim all on his lonesome and the Internazionale striker did the remaining.
The entire thing – from Mertens to De Bruyne to Lukaku to the again of Dave Marshall’s web – took 14 seconds. It was Lukaku’s 49th aim for his nation. He might have had his 50th 9 minutes later when De Bruyne – who else? – dinked a stunning ball into him. Lukaku did not clip it previous Marshall.
A second Belgium aim was not lengthy in coming. As soon as once more it was De Bruyne who created it, this time with a cross from the proper which was poked dwelling by Vermaelen. Scotland, a disorganised mess on the again, failed to choose him up. What gargantuan issues Clarke has in attempting to create one thing resembling a defence worthy of the identify.
Phillips examined Thibaut Courtois however a shell-shocked Hampden sunk ever deeper into despair when Belgium struck once more simply after the half-hour mark. It was one other avoidable aim, a free header from a De Bruyne nook. Alderweireld acquired away from Charlie Mulgrew and thumped his effort in off the underside of Marshall’s crossbar.
Three objectives and three De Bruyne assists. Belgium had scored 10 objectives in two-and-a-half video games towards the Scots in a 12 months. The factor about this newest hiding was they pulled it off with out ever having to maneuver out of second or third gear. They didn’t must get anyplace close to their greatest.
Marshall needed to tip away a shot by Mertens and De Bruyne missed an awesome likelihood. Sandwiched in between was a forlorn dive from Stephen O’Donnell which introduced the Scotland right-back a yellow card as a substitute of the penalty he was searching for. Scott McTominay additionally went into the ebook and he’ll miss the journey to Russia subsequent month, not that it issues. Scotland’s goose is properly and actually cooked now.
There was a fourth for the Belgians, Lukaku being allowed to show by some extra comatose Scottish defending earlier than discovering the unplayable De Bruyne, who slotted a right-footed roller past Marshall to pile on the ache for what was left of the house crowd. Lots of them had headed for dwelling by then. One has to surprise what number of of them will probably be again.
Man of the match – Kevin de Bruyne
A masterclass from the playmaker together with his passing, tempo, consciousness and by no means ending capacity to seek out house beguiling and bemusing Scotland in equal measure. A luxurious end late on supplied the aim his efficiency hard-earned.
- Belgium have scored 16 objectives with out reply of their previous six conferences with Scotland.
- Scotland have gained simply one in all their previous 14 video games towards Belgium (W1 D2 L11), a 2-Zero Euro qualifier victory in October 1987.
- Steve Clarke has misplaced three of his first 4 matches in command of Scotland.
- Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has scored 5 objectives in his three worldwide appearances towards Scotland.
- Beneath Roberto Martinez, Belgium have gained all 5 of their matches towards British sides by an mixture rating of 13-0.
- Scotland have stored two clear sheets of their previous 10 video games.